Potential application: MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, usually progressive disease in which the immune system attacks and degrades the function of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord by destroying myelin (a process known as demyelination) and eventually the nerve fibers themselves. Myelin is a fatty layer of membranes that insulates nerves, facilitating the transmission of electrical impulses through nerve pathways that control neurological functions such as movement, bowel/bladder function, vision and sexual function.
The cells that make myelin, called oligodendrocytes, can initially repair myelin, but at some point in MS, spontaneous repair ceases. Currently, there are no therapies that repair or restore myelin in demyelinating diseases such as MS.
Preclinical studies have demonstrated rHIgM22 can stimulate remyelination by stimulating oligodendrocytes (the myelin producing cells) and increasing repair of areas of demyelination. This process helps to restore electrical conduction and may also serve to protect the exposed nerve fiber from further damage.
Collaboration with Mayo Clinic
Acorda’s remyelinating antibody program is based on more than 15 years of research collaboration with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Under a license agreement entered into with Mayo Clinic in September 2000, Acorda was granted exclusive worldwide rights to develop rHIgM22 and related antibodies as a treatment for nervous system disorders.